Galactic Plane

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Chandra X-ray
Observatory Center
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
60 Garden St. Cambridge, MA 02138 USA
Galactic Plane: A portion of the plane of the Milky Way Galaxy.
(Credit: NASA/GSFC/K.Ebisawa et al.)

Caption: Chandra's image of an area of our galaxy where dense clouds of dust and gas block out visible radiation, reveals a ridge of hot gas in our galaxy, as well as X-rays from distant galaxies. The pink, red and blue dots in this image represent different X-ray energies (pink and red for low, blue for high-energy). Most of the pink and red dots are stars within the Milky Way, while the blue dots are individual galaxies that lie far beyond our galaxy. The blue X-ray glow comes from diffuse hot gas concentrated along the plane of our galaxy. The origin of this hot gas is unknown.

Scale: Black square is 22.5 arcmin on a side.

Chandra X-ray Observatory ACIS Image

CXC operated for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory